Energy networks

Editor's picks

Ofgem has proposed a series of measures to speed up the delivery of large onshore electricity transmission upgrades needed to achieve the government’s target of deploying 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. The regulator said it is considering providing early certainty on funding, reducing number of regulatory approval gates and giving exemptions from the incoming introduction of competition to large onshore transmission projects.  
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The Energy Networks Association has issued its latest annual consultation on the development of flexibility markets as part of its Open Networks projects. Topics covered by the consultation include the move to closer to real-time procurement of flexibility services and the development of a common application programming interface for dispatch.
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Ofgem has awarded £8 million to 18 projects as part of the inaugural round of its £450 million Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) competition. The programme was introduced as part of the RIIO2 price controls as a replacement for the Network Innovation Competition and is currently open to projects led electricity transmission and gas networks as well as National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).
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Featured

A swathe of major infrastructure projects across the utilities sector are driving the adoption of new ways of working, cutting-edge technology and innovative methods for reducing project timelines. This report examines the role of location data as the “glue” underpinning new approaches to large infrastructure projects and how having the right data can enable a digital-first strategy that is more efficient and cost-effective.
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The inaugural UK Utilities Risk Report, from Utility Week and Marsh, highlights the key issues keeping sector leaders awake at night. From cybersecurity to policy and regulatory blockers, extreme weather and price volatility, this report presents a snapshot of the key concerns for utilities.
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Utilities leaders have long spoken of a need to shift sector mindsets from a focus on assets to the needs of end users. But, how quickly is this transition happening in practice and is data playing the central role it needs to? This new report gauges the views of senior industry figures, from Eon, EDF, Western Power Distribution and UK Power Networks among others.
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Latest in Energy networks

For the second time this summer, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has issued a Capacity Margin Notice alerting the market to a potential stress event. Capacity Margin Notices are automatically triggered around four hours ahead of real time if forecast surplus capacity on the transmission network falls below 500MW.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is considering introducing a new demand flexibility service as part of contingency measures to ensure the security of power supplies over the coming winter. The body has also set out conditions for the use of the coal plants that have been contracted by the ESO to remain available over winter to guard against electricity shortfalls.
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Gridserve, which operates the Electric Highway charging network, has received an initial £200 million in funding from Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of M&G. In an announcement today (8 August) the sustainable energy company said the investment will enable its ambitions to deliver more than 5,000 high power chargers by 2025 across its Electric Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts.
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In Utility Week's latest roundup of the weekend news, George Eustice calls on water companies to introduce more hosepipe bans as the UK faces drought, and the cost to taxpayers and billpayers of supplier failures is explored.
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Whoever wins the Conservative leadership race will face immediate pressure to deliver on the promise of more secure, affordable, green energy. Sue Ferns, of the Prospect union, insists that this must start with a clear delivery plan that provides certainty for investors, an expanded skills pipeline, and good green jobs.
Opinion
Maxine Frerk, director at Grid Edge Policy and Sustainability First associate, sifts through Ofgem’s recent draft determinations for the RIIO ED2 price controls and asks: where’s the vision?
Opinion
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has given an early view of expected electricity supply margins over the coming winter ahead of its usual Winter Outlook released each Autumn. The ESO has forecast a de-rated margin 4GW - or 6.7% - representing a slight increase on the 3.9GW – or 6.6% - margin predicted for last winter. However, this forecast assumes there is no disruption gas supplies and Great Britain is able attract 5.7GW of interconnector imports from the rest of Europe during tight periods.
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Rachel Reeves has said Labour will not seek to renationalise energy or water if the party gains power at the next election. Setting out Labour's plans to boost economic growth during an interview, the shadow chancellor said “to be spending billions of pounds on nationalising things, that just doesn’t stack up against our fiscal rules.”
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The Climate Change Committee (CCC) last month released its latest annual report to the Parliament – the first since the emergence of the energy price crisis that has left many households struggling to pay their bills. Maria Connolly, head of future energy at the law firm TLT, gives a rundown of some of the committee’s main recommendations and the implications for utilities and the energy sector.
Opinion
Scottish Power has revealed who will take over as chief executive of its networks business following the departure of Frank Mitchell who has announced his retirement. Vicky Kelsall will become SP Energy Networks’ (SPEN) first female CEO and the only woman at the helm of a distribution network operator in Great Britain.
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The willingness of government to embark on reform of Great Britain’s electricity market arrangements has been applauded by the sector. However, as experts tell David Blackman, concerns remain about the pace of change and the ultimate appetite for a fundamental overhaul of the system.
Analysis
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